Germany cracks down on climate activists after Scholz brands protest group’s tactics ‘nutty’
German police raided 15 properties linked to the Last Generation climate activist group Wednesday, seizing assets as part of an investigation into its finances in a sign of growing impatience with disruptive protest tactics also seen in other European countries.
Members of the group have repeatedly blocked roads across Germany in an effort to pressure the government to take more drastic action against climate change. One protester, Chaim, who declined to give his last name for fear of legal repercussions, said he felt the crackdown against climate activists was politically motivated.
"Legitimate protest always ends where crimes are committed and the rights of others are infringed," Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said, noting that police registered 1,600 criminal complaints in connection with climate protests in 2022, many of them during road blockades conducted by Last Generation.
The U.K. government gave police in England and Wales new powers earlier this month to respond to the disruptive tactics used by climate activists. Activists from the group Just Stop Oil who stormed the racetrack at last year's British Grand Prix Formula 1 race were spared jail sentences.
The Italian group is part of the international A22 activist network, which includes Last Generation in Germany and Britain's Just Stop Oil, and which receives support from the U.S.-based Climate Emergency Fund.